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Wyandanch board meeting celebrates retirees and student contributions; acknowledges donations and honors board of education

The Oct. 21 Wyandanch Union Free School District Board of Education meeting was a night filled with many celebrations as the District recognized new retirees, received generous donations, honored an outstanding student, received an award and celebrated the Board of Education for Board Recognition Week.

Seven retirees, who were present and joined virtually were recognized by the Board of Education with a commemorative plaque. The seven retirees collectively represent 159 years of service to the district.

“Thank you to all our retirees for your continued and relentless service to the Wyandanch School District,” said Dr. Gina Talbert, Superintendent of Schools. “Enjoy the fruits of your many years of labor. Here’s to wishing you a relaxing and enjoyable retirement.” 

Representatives from three organizations were presented with certificates of recognition for their generous donations to the District. Filomena Russo, a teacher from Milton L. Olive Middle school who donated 500 face masks; Salerno Brokerage donated $5,000 to purchase Chromebooks for the district and Altice Corporation donated 41 iPads.

The New York State School Board Association’s Executive Director Rob Schneider and Sandra Ruffo, Second Vice President and Area Four Director joined virtually and Catherine Romano Area 12 Director was present to give the District and Board of Education the Champion of Change for Kids Award. The award, which has only been given to nine other school districts in the state, was presented to the board for their participation in the 31,000 Books In-line Guinness World Record project last year.

The Wyandanch School District received a banner showcasing the District’s significance in making a difference in their community. Dr. Talbert offered her thanks stating, "Thank you so very much for acknowledging our Board of Education and all of our staff who worked so hard to make this world record a possibility and to give our students that wonderful sense of achievement and a chance to be world movers and earth shakers. We are raising them to be impactful citizens in their very own community.” 

In honor of Board of Education Recognition Week, the board was presented with certificates from Western Suffolk BOCES, Proclamations from New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo, and NYSSBA for their ongoing support of public education, dedicated leadership and continued service to the Wyandanch community. The students from Milton L. Olive Middle School also created posters and survival bags for each board member to thank them for serving the district.

Closing the meeting, the board honored fifth grader, Erick Castro for his community service as a member of the Earth Rangers and his steadfast commitment to keeping Wyandanch clean and green.


John Chappell (fifth from left) was one of seven retirees recognized on Oct. 21 by (from left) Superintendent of Schools Dr. Gina Talbert, Board of Education trustee Charlie Reed, Board of Education trustee Jarod Morris, Board of Education trustee Shirley Baker, Board of Education Vice President Latesha Walker, Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources Kester Hodge, Director of Special Education Carl Baldini, Assistant to the Superintendent for Administrative & Instructional Accountability Dr. Christine Jordan, and Assistant to the Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, Mrs. Shamika Simpson for serving the district.


Superintendent of Schools Dr. Gina Talbert proudly displayed the Champions of Change for Kids banner from NYSSBA.


Students from Milton L. Olive Middle School created posters for the Board of Education to honor them for Board of Education Recognition Week.


Fifth grader, Erick Castro was presented with a certificate of recognition for his community service efforts to environmental conservation as part of the district’s Earth Rangers program.